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By Colin Woodard

Here's the genuine tale of the British Royal Navy's fight with the best pirate gang of all time. Drawing on documents in nice Britain and the U.S., award-winning journalist and writer Colin Woodard separates truth from fiction, revealing the genuine motivations and struggles of Blackbeard, Black Sam Bellamy, Calico Jack Rackham, and extra.

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Still, Vane’s die-hard faction was uncowed. As Rose entered the harbor, Vane fired on her from his recently-captured 30-gun ship before retreating to a sloop in the eastern end of Nassau harbor, which was separated from the main anchorage by a shoal-draft sandbar and had its own entrance. He then waited until the fleet anchored and night fell before setting his now-cornered 30-gun ship ablaze and sailing her straight at the Rose and Shark; their crews hacked away the anchor lines, frantically raised their sails, and only narrowly escaped destruction.

La Buse was sailing a 250-ton ship with 26 guns and 200 men, giving him roughly the same firepower as a fifth-rate frigate, but twice the manpower. By the fall, Edward Thatch, better known as Blackbeard, was in command of a 250-ton slaver, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, with 40 guns, 200 men and two escorts: a 12-gun sloop and a 10-gun brigantine. ” There was no naval force capable of stopping him outside of Port Royal harbor. Fear stalked the navy’s commanding officers, creeping into their reports to the Admiralty.

This allowed Maynard’s sloop, Jane, to row alongside, where she received a broadside of grape and partridge shot that killed or injured 21 of her men. Under cover of the gunsmoke, however, Maynard directed 14 uninjured men to conceal themselves in the hold. When Blackbeard’s boarding party stepped on board, Maynard’s forces rushed out in a surprise attack. By the time the struggle ended, Blackbeard and 19 of his men were dead, the rest taken prisoner. The victorious sailors decapitated their nemesis, tossed his body into the sea, and hung his head from the Adventure’s bowsprit.

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